Tag Archives: #story

Surfing Wood

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Whoa!.”

What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

space-ibiza

This post is one that some will not agree with. Some will not condone the circumstances in which this story came about. I ask anyone reading to do so with an open mind, and remember that everyone is free to learn and live as they please.

The location was the scene of a boys holiday to the white isle. Ibiza, peak weather, prime time for headliners and the best bunch of mates a guy could ask for. One week. We had one week away fro reality and one week to make the most of it.

Tuesdays brought a unique all day experience. Pucka up boat cruises ran from the marina in San Antonio for 3-4 hours. Lots of great music, great people and alcohol. Oh yea, there was also water and waves. This is a key thing to remember.

We stood at the back of the boat, onto of what I think was two very large fridges. We were in line with the DJ, dancing over the packed crowd. The same crowd that after sun down would all descend on one of the biggest nights in Ibiza.

I don’t know what time we arrived at Space. Dubfire were playing, i remember that much. We had plenty of pre drinks on the boat party for the last four hours, and the atmosphere and general mood was one of the best I can remember. We were buzzing, the holidays was approaching its very peak.

We like 90% of the club, couldn’t accept the €15 per Budweiser, or €20 per vodka priceless. Not when something stronger was gong for €10. Bottles of water were €10 as well.

Dubfire were approaching the end of their set, “Emissions” was playing. Most of the our group were already €10 lighter, as was their legs and levels of consciousness. Emissions was bang in the middle, that really good bit that makes your feet go.

I looked up to admire the DJ, but all I seen was the floor, a wooden floor, roaring towards me like a wave. So I jumped, turned side on, put my hands to either side, and began to surf. I genuinely rode those waves like a pro. Then they seemed to settle and the volume of the crowd shot up, as if the DJ controlled them with his set of Pioneers.

Carl Cox began his set. It was a thing of beauty.

We all danced, two stepped, moved forward moved back. One of the boys was being held up by two girls we had met a few nights before, and they were found it as hilarious as he did. One of the boys came right up into my face, he looked straight at me, he appeared totally sober. Then he touched my side and said “Tig”. He ran off.. into the crowd. I didn’t chase after him.

Instead I fixated on another of our group, through the crowd, looking like he had gotten lucky. He was chatting someone up.I moved to see who, but still couldn’t see her. I moved round the group. There is a few columns in the lower part of the club, one of which was blocking my view of my mates apparent pull.

I walked up subtly, and I began to laugh. I mean laugh, like never before. There was no girl. There was no-one. At least to me.

To him there was someone. I don’t know who, but someone. He was in deep conversation with this person, someone I clearly couldn’t see. I moved back into he crowd. I looked up to the centre of the balcony. It was busy, a tight squeeze at the front. I seen a few people looking down at their sides and moving out of the way. Then a head popped through, about waste height. It was my other mate, the one caught up in a game of Tig/Hide and Seek.

Then, suddenly i felt tired, my legs slowed and everything slowed down. Its like that moment in a club where time reaches just before closing, and you can see those who have sobered up and are ready for home. One of the lads came over to me and advised it was time to go. I asked why “were only here and hour or two”. He looked at me and dropped a smile. Make that six, nearly seven.

Nearly Seven hours had passed since we walked into space that night. I swear seven hours were eaten into two. I couldn’t believe it. We headed for the bus back into San Antonio.

We were back, lying on the beach near “the egg”. One of the boys popped up, “look ! over there .. The Smurfs ! ”

I turned slowly clearly assuming another joke or at most a hallucination. But there they were. five or six blue Smurfs walking along the waterside. Hold on.. they were real. Just a few lads dressed up. That sobered us completely. We headed home.

Thats only a small version of the story of that night. But talk about a surreal experience, however artificial, that was one I will always remember.

Whether you agree with our choices that night ( and many after ), I cannot regret the wonderful memories that resulted. Thats what life is all about.

Blo88er

Six hours had past

Time Capsule

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Time Capsule.”

Design Museum Ground-breaking Ceremony at Commonwealth Institute

Tonight I got some exciting news. My uncle attended a big business dinner at the home ground of our favourite football (soccer) club. A business dinner, involving all the players and managers past and present. He went to network for his business, and create new opportunities as they continue to grow. He’s a greatly sociable man, a characteristic which I much respect and have learned from him.

As part of the night the club put on a bid, auction and other usual charity orientated giveaways. One of which was a bid, for the chance to walk out and play a game in the home stadium, wearing the teams colours with your name on the back and play in front of a crowd of supporters, amongst some legends. He quickly accepted that he was too old for this and that his knees wouldn’t last but quickly his thoughts turned to me, still playing the game, still young enough to participate.

He visited me tonight, and confirmed thatI will be lining up in this years fixture, walking out in our beautiful stadium, with its wonderful history. Its truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. It something I will no doubt talk about into my dying days.

Therefore, I would like to hold off in planting my time capsule. Until this day has gone, and the photos and videos have been taken. Until I can write and share stories about the time I walked out and lived this dream, shared by so many.

Thats something I would like the generations in our family yet to come, to hear about, read about and imagine.

I simply cannot wait.

Blo88er

A round of applause – Hugh Laurie

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I just finished a quick review on the film “Her” starring Joaquin Phoenix, in which I mentioned the actors ability to connect with his audience on a real and emotional level.

I have also recently become hooked to the first season of TV series “House”, starring Hugh Laurie. the huge success of this series, with 8 seasons in total, owes very much of its praise to the man behind Gregory House. Laurie is exceptional at portraying the damage and disabled, diagnostician, who’s best known for his quick but insulting wit. He is hugely sarcastic and extremely smart, and is perceived initially as somewhat of an arrogant, uninterested skiver.

As we get to know House, we start to realise there is much more to the man than initially thought, and that his intentions are indeed selfless. There are so many layers to the man, and I believe it is the Character Hugh Laurie was made to play. The sympathy we feel for a man who is nothing but insulting most of the time, is a difficult connection for an actor to achieve, but no matter how horrible he is, you can’t help but love him and share his pain.

The writers are also worthy of an applause, given the type of series house is, it is commendable that the writers have managed to keep producing story lines for house and the gang, considering the amount of research that must be involved.

This is a terrific series, and everyone should give it a go at some point, even if this is only for the brief few minutes per episode that we see house have to suffer his “clinic hours”, which brings about some of the most witty humour the small screen has ever seen.

All 8 seasons currently available on Netflix.

Blo88er

Mystery box

You wake up one morning to find a beautifully wrapped package next to your bed. Attached to it is a note: “Open me, if you dare.” What’s inside the mystery box? Do you open it?

largered

(Set sometime in my childhood)

Light shines in through my bedroom window, my eyes flicker open, I am surprised I had been asleep, the excitement that had built in me throughout christmas eve kept me awake thinking of all of the wonders christmas day would hold. I sit up and move my feet towards the floor, but they brush of something on the way down. I look down, there is a box sitting at the side of my bed. Its wrapped !

Santa always left gifts downstairs in our living room, and often left my stocking on the door handle of my bedroom, but a gift in my room was never something I had received before. The excitement built within me, I couldn’t wait to go and get my parents before I opened it. I lifted it onto my bed, analysing the size and shape, what could it be. It felt light, limiting the possibilities.

I ripped the wrapping paper, without any care, the box was red. I couldn’t think what the contents could be, the box was so light. I lifted the lid and looked inside…

I was disappointed, I felt someone had tricked me. The box was empty. Perhaps my sister had been playing a prank, and it had worked. My disappointment was soon forgotten, as we went downstairs to find wonderful gifts left by the tree.

After I had opened everything, I felt truly blessed, I had everything I could have possibly have wanted. Following tradition it was time to give my own gifts to my parents and sister. Being so young, my mum always picked something up for my dad and sister, I just handed it over. My gran would usually help pick something for my mum. This year I had saved some pocket money, and with some help from my gran I had managed to save up enough to get my mum the purse that she had desperately wanted. It was going to be perfect. I went upstairs to get it, from its hiding place in my cupboard, with a fresh burst of excitement. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she unwrapped it. I pulled it from inside the cupboard and disaster struck.. the paper ripped, and the purse fell out.

I was devastated, there would be no surprise, it looked as if I hadn’t went to the efforts that I had. She would love it still I’m sure, but it wouldn’t be as perfect as I imagined. I sat on my bed with the red purse in hand, my head fell slightly… and there it was. It was perfect.

I handed over the red box, my mum looked excited. As she opened it her eyes lit up, her face spoke a thousand words. She hugged me and thanked me, and in that moment not only had I forgotten about all the wonderful gifts I had received, but I realised that the suspicious little box at the side of my bed hadn’t been empty at all. It contained a lesson.. a reminder.

Christmas is not about receiving all these wonderful presents. The true wonder of christmas is about giving. No matter what you spend, no matter how rare the gift, the act of giving and the effort it takes, mixed with genuinely making someone so very happy.. that is christmas, and I could see it in my mums eyes.

I turned to my sister, she looked on in disbelief, and I could tell… she had seen that box before.

A very late merry christmas, and a happy new year.

Blo88er

Mystery Box

You wake up one morning to find a beautifully wrapped package next to your bed. Attached to it is a note: “Open me, if you dare.” What’s inside the mystery box? Do you open it?

largered

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mystery Box.”

(Set sometime in my childhood)

Light shines in through my bedroom window, my eyes flicker open, I am surprised I had been asleep, the excitement that had built in me throughout christmas eve kept me awake thinking of all of the wonders christmas day would hold. I sit up and move my feet towards the floor, but they brush of something on the way down. I look down, there is a box sitting at the side of my bed. Its wrapped !

Santa always left gifts downstairs in our living room, and often left my stocking on the door handle of my bedroom, but a gift in my room was never something I had received before. The excitement built within me, I couldn’t wait to go and get my parents before I opened it. I lifted it onto my bed, analysing the size and shape, what could it be. It felt light, limiting the possibilities.

I ripped the wrapping paper, without any care, the box was red. I couldn’t think what the contents could be, the box was so light. I lifted the lid and looked inside…

I was disappointed, I felt someone had tricked me. The box was empty. Perhaps my sister had been playing a prank, and it had worked. My disappointment was soon forgotten, as we went downstairs to find wonderful gifts left by the tree.

After I had opened everything, I felt truly blessed, I had everything I could have possibly have wanted. Following tradition it was time to give my own gifts to my parents and sister. Being so young, my mum always picked something up for my dad and sister, I just handed it over. My gran would usually help pick something for my mum. This year I had saved some pocket money, and with some help from my gran I had managed to save up enough to get my mum the purse that she had desperately wanted. It was going to be perfect. I went upstairs to get it, from its hiding place in my cupboard, with a fresh burst of excitement. I couldn’t wait to see her face as she unwrapped it. I pulled it from inside the cupboard and disaster struck.. the paper ripped, and the purse fell out.

I was devastated, there would be no surprise, it looked as if I hadn’t went to the efforts that I had. She would love it still I’m sure, but it wouldn’t be as perfect as I imagined. I sat on my bed with the red purse in hand, my head fell slightly… and there it was. It was perfect.

I handed over the red box, my mum looked excited. As she opened it her eyes lit up, her face spoke a thousand words. She hugged me and thanked me, and in that moment not only had I forgotten about all the wonderful gifts I had received, but I realised that the suspicious little box at the side of my bed hadn’t been empty at all. It contained a lesson.. a reminder.

Christmas is not about receiving all these wonderful presents. The true wonder of christmas is about giving. No matter what you spend, no matter how rare the gift, the act of giving and the effort it takes, mixed with genuinely making someone so very happy.. that is christmas, and I could see it in my mums eyes.

I turned to my sister, she looked on in disbelief, and I could tell… she had seen that box before.

A very late merry christmas, and a happy new year.

Blo88er

The Lucky Escape

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I have been looking for some inspiration, to prompt some ideas I can blog about. A few simple one liners that awaken memories or unleash ideas that i can share. Whilst browsing I scrolled through a list, stopping at this one .. “write about a terrifying experience”.. I immediately clicked .. An experience I can share..

It was the night before my last ever day of school. My whole high school experience had only one day left, which is an exciting time. The uncertainty of what comes next, the excitement of going off to university of into the working world was fresh. I had volunteered to stay behind and help out with an event in the school, and my parents came to pick me up. We pulled away at 7.55PM. I remember because the radio was playing in my dads new car. My team was playing and the game kicked off as we drove off. I was in the back left seat of the car, and turned over my right shoulder to wave at one of the schools teachers. She waved back and as I turned back to my left and into my seat, I was met with darkness …

Adrenaline shot through my body like a hundred bullets, I seen my mum and dad in the front seat, spinning uncontrollably, there was another bang and the darkness did not lift. Then everything stopped.

I felt a ringing in my left ear, and turned to see the metal from the wheel arch of the car taring through my seat and pushed into my lower back. Fortunately it hadn’t cut through my skin. The pain in the side of my face, was caused by the same thing that not only caused the sudden darkness, but also potentially saved my life.

30 seconds earlier…

An off duty police officer, local to the area has just pulled off a roundabout and is climbing a small hill. Travelling at only 25 miles per hour, aware that their is both a small hospital and school just over the top of the hill. Its 7.44PM, school is long over, but he remains disciplined at all times, its his duty. There is a loud roar, and in his mirror he catches a glimpse of a shadow passing him. The car passes him as he reaches the top of the hill.. 40mph..50..mph…60.mph…. he looks ahead the car is approaching the school round about.. its possible to go straight through, but anything that could appear from the school would be unseen until the last minute because of the main wall and gates… 70 mph.. Suddenly the grey vehicle is not the only one in sight. Adrenaline…

The door won’t open, my dad is out.. my mum is not. I climb across to the other seat, luckily the door opens and I am out. I walk around the car.. I have ever seen  wreck like this.. the front wheel is lying flat on the road, the two side doors no longer resemble doors. Mum ! … We bend the metal of the door and she looks out at us.. my chest has to be very strong to conceal the heart inside beating so heavily. Then she turned, she moves, and she gets out…

That was a terrifying experience.. but what terrifies me is the main few reasons we all survived.

The first is that my dad got bored. Bored of his old BMW. He decided that a new Mazda Tamura was the car for him. One week prior to this incident it arrived. I remember finding the amount of air bags this thing had being somewhat unusual. The first I had seen airbags above every door. One weeks before, my head would have crashed through the window, and my neck possibly broken. Not this week though. The air bags took care of that.

The second reason, my teacher. The metal from the wheel arch did not pierce my back, because I had turned to wave, lifting my body from the seat.

The third reason was the strangest. However coincidental many believe it may be, my mum dropped her mobile phone. Two seconds before the impact, she like me, turned away from the main impact zone to pick up her phone, changing her body shape and protecting her from the main point of connection at the passenger side door. The car actually spun in a way that it connected twice.

I was terrifying to be in the accident, but it was so much more terrifying knowing that my parents were involved, and as helpless as I was. It could have ended so very differently if it was too, A) an act of god B) a string of very good luck or C) some incredible work by the people at Mazda.

Either way all of it could have been avoided, if the 18 year old boy driving his mums car, had just thought about what he was doing.

Drive safe people, not everyone is as lucky as all four of us were.

Blo88er

The Elevator

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“If you had to be trapped in an elevator with anyone of your choice, who would it be?”

I think many people would answer this question in a similar way. Who have I always wanted to meet? Who would I love to strike up a conversation with that I otherwise would never meet. I think some would say the president, because he knows so much that we do not, in hope that he would share the secrets of the white house with us. Other would choose that super celebrity that they always had a thing for, in the hope that given the opportunity they could make them fall in love with them. Other would just pick the most famous person they can think of and have little reason as to why they think that this one person, is the person they would choose to spend this time with.

Me… I don’t need to spend a few hours with Scarlett Johansson or Beyonce. I don’t need to try and debunk all of worlds conspiracies with the president of the United States. For me, the most entertaining and interesting person of all, that I would hands down choose in this scenario. That person would be my Papa. My dads, dad.

Like many of his generation, he grew up through school, went off to the RAF for a few years, returned in the old romantic era, fell in love, played in a band, had kids, and retired with his loving wife, surrounded with grandchildren, who in turn are now at the beginning of their long and every changing journey through life.

His journey, may seem similar to millions of others, insignificant in a way. He wasn’t a Forrest Gump typed character, that has had more life experience than the worlds oldest man could even claim. But he does have one quality that makes his journey through life unique. One quality, that actually does make him rise above even Forrest Gump and his story.

My papa could tell a story…

Ive heard him tell so many, yet I look forward to hearing them again. Stories of when he was in the desert in the RAF, and was on watch duty. About the time he rang the bell as there were headlights in the distance, that turned out only to be the sun rising over the sandy dunes. Of when he played the accordion in a ceilidh band, in the middle of the era of romance, when the old romantics waltzed every weekend and lived life how it should be lived.

But the best thing about him is that, given his old age, he has lived so many days, that it isn’t possible to have heard every story he has to tell. Which means that every time I get to see him, new unheard stories ( even to my Gran), surface. The family sits round him and listens to him.

I, like my papa, already have stories of my own, and I tell them as often as I can. He could make any story worth listening to, which in turn, makes him so very worth listening to.

That is why I don’t need to share that elevator with a celebrity, or someone that I might never otherwise get the chance to meet. Because no-one that I could choose, would be more worthy or worth it , than spending time with him.

Maybe the reason I like to hear his stories so many times over and over again, is because I know that he won’t always be around to tell them. Therefore, I will be responsible for passing on these memories, which are, put simply –  his legacy. I only hope I can do his tales the justice that they deserve, and tell them half as good as he does.

Because.. honestly … in my opinion, they are so worth sharing.

Thanks for reading and I ask.. this christmas, take a little extra time to remember those gran parents who are no longer with you, and if you are fortunate enough to have them with you, listen to their stories, however many times you have heard, however much you really don’t want to wait to reach the ending you all know is coming. Please, just smile and wish them a heartfelt merry christmas, because in years to come, you might be sitting with your own grandchildren telling them about a year you sat their, with your grandfather or grandma, and tell them the story and it will mean the everything in the whole world to you that they listened and laughed with you for just those few quick minutes.

Blo88er

An Extreme Tale

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Extreme Tale.”

dancefloor

“it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” – when did this last reflect your life.

It would be easy to use your first experience of love and heartache in response to this prompt, but I don’t want easy, nor do i want to bore readers with my everyday love story.

I would say my approach to this one is slightly lighter hearted than many other will respond. As the “worst of times” I am going to describe are by no means the hardest you will read about, nor that I have experienced but certainly not the nicest.

University.. so many have been there, so many have done it, and not every walked away with the t-shirt. Luckily I did, I got the Hons Degree.. that what you go for right ?.

In my case, wrong. I went to university because I left school without any idea what i wanted to do with my life. My parents, more so my mum, suggested Uni, saying that I would love it, theres a great social aspect, you are developing and working towards something.

My degree isn’t one of the best in the country, far from it, I don’t even work in the industry just now, however, the people I met, and the lessons I learned, most certainly were some of the best. No other course that we shared classes with or came to know were as close as ours, we took on the student life as a group, we never missed a night out and we had no problems skipping a class or two if it meant getting together and having a laugh and a drink.

Some of the people, became couples, some best friends. We laughed together, we cried together, we went abroad together, we went to funerals together, we were close.

I lived at home through my Uni days, but it became a second home. Many of my Uni group relocated to the city for University so had student accommodation ( now theres something I could tell stories about) , so we all tended to stay there most of the week.

We sacrificed real meals for super noodles because it meant we could afford nights out together. They truly were the best times of my life. We were living a dream and yes eventually we had to work both to afford the lifestyle and to achieve our degrees, but the thought of four years of this was a welcomed one.

But we forgot, overlooked one thing. It would all end. Eventually there would be nominee classes, no more flat parties, no more leaving parties at 8am to go to lectures. The course was finished and exams were sat. The rent had been paid, and it was time to go home for most.

Some disappeared , off the radar, not to be heard from regular enough to know about their lives. It is a sad thought, that we can’t still call a night out on the same day, or skip work to get a train down to the beach in summer.

I still work in the city, and walk through it every night after work. I see groups of students filling bars, filling our shoes. Its both the most wonderful of memory, but most horrible of thoughts, that we can never go back to those simple times again. Those days are over.

Thats why those are both the best times I have had, and also the worst.

I urge all that are about to embark on the university journey, to do it right, to do it hard and do not regret missing out on anything. It is truly the most incredible few years of a very long and up and down life. Live it !

Blo88er

The Best £3.10 I’ve Ever Spent

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Last Thursday night I finished work around 6pm and as it was a guy in my teams birthday/leaving day, I joined the rest of the group for a drink at a bar in Glasgow City Centre. Being the manager of the team, I had to do the responsible thing and leave early-ish before the rest moved onto a local club, as I had to be in the office the next morning.

I quickly grabbed a Burger King on the way to the train station, and as I passed through Central station crowd towards my train, I noticed a young girl, probably about 18, out the corner of my eye. I looked around her at the crowds of men and woman passing her by, looking directly at her and continuing to walk. I was in disbelief..

The young girl, of similar ages to my younger sister, was on her knees, on the ground scraping through her huge handbag, tears welling in her eyes, directly under a self service ticket machine. I doesn’t take a genius to work out where this is going …

£3.10 .. thats what it cost me ..

My drinks had been £1.50 per drink (student night), my burger king around £6.00. It cost me £3.10 to make sure this young girl got home on the last train that was destined for her home town that evening. But how many people passed her, looked at her , some directly in the eye, and when faced with that quick, on the spot decision, do i help?, opted to keep walking and take the easy option… Everyone. Everyone except me.. I know eventually someone else would have stopped, but how long had she already have been sitting there?

This is all happening just under the huge, bright central station christmas tree. Everyone is rushing around with freshly purchased gifts, Costa coffee is selling Christmas special coffees. Surely theres more to the christmas spirit than that?.

Of course I wil soon be one of those people rushing around with a “sticky toffee pudding coffee” in hand, with a number of bags in each hand ( starting late agin this year). But for me, the look on that girls face when I approached her and pulled out my Debit card and offered to help get her home- that, is the kind of giving I want to be able to do this christmas.

Had I stayed at the bar for another hour I would have had another two drinks, without question, £3. I would never have crossed the girls path and maybe, possibly, she would have missed that last train. Surely faced with that question we could all make the right choice ? … Another hour in a bar, for two more drinks, or leave go home and for the same price help a young girl who is alone and trapped get home as well.

That question is obviously in the context of my evening, but surely there are others who if they thought in this way, had just as easy a decision to make, and opted out.

The girl wiped her tears, smiled at me gave me a hug and thanked me. Then she rushed off and caught her train. I don’t know her name, don’t know what age she is, what her background is, I don’t even know where she had been that evening. I won’t see her again… but she taught me a huge lesson that night, in how I approach these types of situations. I hope if you are reading this you will weigh up your options in this way the next time you get the chance. I swear, its a wonderful feeling to help someone out, however small the gesture is.

Its christmas people, lets remember what that really means…